The very moment that the San Antonio Spurs won the 1999 NBA championship against the New York Knickerbockers, media-types everywhere took it with a grain of salt.
HoopsDoctor columnist Kevin Burke wrote in his article Did the 1999 Labor Shortened Season Really Count at the time:
"An NBA Championship is an NBA Championship no matter how you slice it. I’m sure “The Admiral” no doubt shows off his only ring to anyone who is willing to look at it and the Spurs have a banner in their gym proving that they were champions that year. But, because of the lockout, something feels off about that Finals win. I sometimes forget about it."
Sports prognosticators were all questioning the legitimacy of the championship because there were only 50 games played that year. In fact, I think that there is still a sort of begrudging acceptance of that championship year. The Spurs never beat their chest proclaiming outrage nor did their star players proclaim that they are now looking to be the best in ...